I took this picture on Sunday while one of my oldest friends was visiting from out of town. Huddled over my camera's tiny viewfinder -- just like we used to crouch over Jennifer's Easy-Bake Oven -- I declared that "We still look like a couple of kids," and promised to e-mail the image as soon as I got home.
An hour later I was staring at the picture on my 15-inch screen and my eyes were drawn to... my eyes. To creases I'd never noticed. Real, grown-up, been-around-the-block, I-know-how-to-walk-in-heels, let-me-show-you-how-to-work-that-power-drill, I-don't-need-a-boyfriend-but-I'll-take-you-as-my-lover creases. I was mesmerized. I adored them instantly.
Is this odd? Aren't women supposed to rue the day their wrinkles arrive? Is this my cue to toss the soap-n-sunscreen regimen and start using words like "collagen" and "peel"? I'm sure I'd feel differently if I'd noticed, say, a sagging neck or train tracks across my forehead (all in good time). But there's something about that crinkle in the corner of my eye that lends a deep, rich texture to my self-expression. It substantiates my stories. Punctuates my jokes. Implies all the empathy, passion, warmth, lust and joy I've always struggled to convey. A prism to refract the twinkle in my eye, an ornament that gilds the window to my soul... This, right here, is character, and it only deepens with age. What in the world is not beautiful about that?